Becoming An Entrepreneur In Your Spare Time

Are you someone with pockets of spare time throughout your days? Maybe you’ve got a spare hour or so in the evening, when the kids have gone to bed, and you’re not on call for your job anymore? Well that’s the perfect time for you to start honing your business craft, and become somewhat of an entrepreneur!

Starting a business when you’ve got an already hectic schedule doesn’t have to be impossible, and it’s not a pipe dream you constantly have to look down on! So if you’ve got a sneaky business mindset that’s constantly playing on you, now’s the time to cater to it – here’s a couple of tips for getting started.

Photo by Ellyot on Unsplash

Plan Your Social Media Posts in Advance

Social media is a great business asset, and one that entrepreneurs like you can really push to the max! Social media means you always have your proverbial finger on the audience button, and you’re right at their online doorsteps waiting for them to respond. You can simply make it easy for people to find and follow you, and better build your audience as a result.

But seeing as you’ve only got some spare time to dedicate here, and you’re never sure over how much you’ll have tomorrow, be sure to plan your posts in advance. This allows you greater freedom and creativity over what you say or show your audience, seeing as you have more time, and there’s plenty of apps out there that’ll post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, and anything else for you! Check out a list here if you haven’t heard any reviews for these apps yet.

Learn Yourself a New Qualification

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, and you’re going to have to do a lot of work to hone your craft. This reason alone is why you haven’t looked into this option yet – you simply don’t have the time to commit! Well, even with only a bit of spare time on your hands, you can very easily allow yourself to learn something bona fide, that’ll better qualify you for whatever business you’re thinking of starting.

The online world has a lot of resources, and you can take your pick amongst any of them. Maybe you want to learn how to knit: you can take a quick course over the rest of the week that’ll have practical demonstrations and patterns for you to use. Maybe you fancy taking on the job of opening a medical school or private doctor’s office: there’s some RN to BSN Online programs as well. You can be both casual and serious with your dreams here, so don’t hold back and think you don’t have time to follow them!

Want to be an entrepreneur? Think the kids won’t allow it? Think again! There’s plenty of methods, techniques, and resources for you to use and follow if you’ve got some big business dreams!

A Checklist for Success: 5 Things to Take Care of When Planning an Office Relocation

If you’re planning an office relocation, there are several things that you need to consider carefully before making a decision that will have a substantial impact on your business. Office relocations take a lot of planning and consideration to avoid impacting your customers, and more importantly your bottom line. Here are five of the most important things that you will need to consider before you relocate your office.

Consider the Timing of the Move

 The amount of time that you will need to find and relocate your office to a new location is proportional to how much space and amenities that you will need to keep your business functioning. The key is to allow enough time to negotiate a new lease and move before your current contract expires. According to The Spruce, the time frame for your move should be the first thing that you consider. In general, if you are moving to a space that is less than 10,000 square feet you should start your search seven to nine months ahead of time. If you need more than 10,000 square feet, you should start your search nine to 18 months before your current lease is set to expire.

Set a Budget

 When considering available office spaces, you need to establish a strict budget regarding the actual expenses for moving. You want to leave plenty of wiggle room within the budget to account for important factors that may have been overlooked during the planning stages. No matter how careful you are in planning your office relocation, there will always be surprises that you will have to deal with. The experts at Innovative Professional Offices, recommend that you make sure you have enough room in your budget for last minute expenses.

Take a Detailed Inventory

 Before you start packing away all the items in your office, perform a detailed inventory of everything that you have. As you move through the office, get rid of anything that is broken, outdated, and useless to your company. Depending on the condition that they are in you might be able to sell the unwanted items, or donate them to charity. This will allow you to save money on the cost of having to relocate these items and might even generate a little extra profit if you can sell old equipment.

Research Movers

 One of the most critical aspects of relocating an office is finding a qualified company to help you move the heavy equipment and office furniture. You want to make sure that for every moving company that you are considering, you get references for other companies that they’ve moved that are similar to yours. After you’ve conducted a pre-move survey with the potential movers, like AAMachinery.com, ask them to provide a detailed plan of action for moving your office equipment and furniture along with their estimate of the cost to perform the move.

Notify People of Your Change of Address

 When you relocate your office, it is essential that you notify people of your change of address. Be sure to fill out a change of address with the post office, tell your banks of your new address, let your vendors know where you are moving to, and inform your customers of your new location. This can be completed a week before you move to ensure that you don’t forget to notify anyone.

Relocating an office takes a lot of careful planning, and can be extremely stressful. Make sure your pending office relocation goes smoothly by keeping these five points into consideration.

Image: Congerdesign

Avoid this if you want to sell children’s products online

Have you ever thought of selling children’s products online? No doubt about it, there’s lots of competition, both from other online stores and the big guys, Amazon. But on the other hand, parents do love to spend money on their children, so the demand is huge.

One important pitfall to avoid is offering a product that is like those already sold by huge retailers. As a small business you simply can’t compete with these retailers on price because they have the advantages of scale, including cheap distribution and the ability to buy in bulk. Instead, you need to find a niche you can serve or do something better than the big companies. ‘Better’ could mean a product that isn’t available anywhere else or more personal customer service, for example.

Read on for some ideas of how to not compete with the big retailers…

Invent and sell an innovative product

If you ever found yourself bathing your baby or trying to get her to sleep and thinking ‘there has to be a better way!’ then you’re in good company. Some mums have gone one step further and created products to make other parents’ lives easier, including Cara Sayer of SnoozeShade and Helen Wooldridge and Polly Marsh of Cuddledry.  An advantage with inventing your own product is that you’ll intimately understand your audience and their needs – after all you’ve been there, done that – so you’ll be able to tailor your product, branding and marketing very precisely.

Sell a top-quality product

We all want the best for our children, so how about buying them the same socks as worn by a prince? Prince George was pictured wearing Condor UK online shop’s classic navy baby knee length socks in official pictures released by the palace. This is a great example of a company not only selling a top-quality product, but also being able to demonstrate this to their customers. Most parents can only dream of having a budget like Prince George’s parents, but they would be happy to buy knitted cardigans for babies from the same store.

Sell an ethical product

Over the past few years customers have been demanding more ethical products. This can be a challenge for large businesses because they must keep their prices at around the same level as before to avoid losing customers and they have complex supply chains that are difficult to change quickly. Also, not all parents can afford the price increase that is often unavoidable with organic or fair-trade products, which makes those that are willing to pay a niche worth exploring. Little Green Radicals and Frugi are two such online stores.

That said, ethical doesn’t have to mean more expensive. There are many opportunities for small businesses with products that are both ethical and could save people money, for example vintage and upcycled clothing or cloth nappies.

It may not look like it at first, but there are many untapped opportunities for selling children’s products out there. With a little creativity and some careful research, you could find a niche with parents who would love to buy from you.

 

Client Friendly Gifts to Make Your Business Memorable

With Christmas around the corner, you might be thinking of the clients or customers that have served you well over the year and what gesture you might like to make in order to thank them for their business throughout the months. Here are some top tips on the types of gifts or gestures you can give to boost you to the front of your favourite client’s minds and encourage them to return to you at the start of the new year;

Self-Sustaining Terrarium

A self-sustaining terrarium is often a desktop-sized glass bottle or enclosed vase that is hand-made with moss, lichen, pretty stones and some plant life, given a few drops of water and then sealed. The lifecycle regulates itself to recycle and provide moisture for the living organisms in the terrarium, making it very easy to keep and beautiful looking gift. Make it yourself for that personal touch or have one commissioned with your client or customer name along the top of the bottom (so it doesn’t block any of the gorgeous internal detail).

Business Resource

With the world becoming more digital and online every day, resources are increasingly moving towards subscription basis to ensure businesses are not missing out from improved software and necessary updates. A kind gesture is to pay for a year’s subscription to a resource used by your client or customer. Maybe they require stock images, videos and graphics, making Shutterstock an ideal choice or they might require video editing and photo manipulation software, which an Adobe subscription would be perfect for.

Charity Donation

Donations are always a welcome gesture and contribute to positive press for both you and your client, consider carefully the amount you could donate to a charity on behalf of your customer, and be sure to choose a cause that you both fully support. Some businesses are already partnered with certain charities which makes it easier to make a donation, especially one you want to keep a surprise. Alternatively, you could choose a charity that is actively campaigning for a recent natural disaster or ongoing internal conflicts, such as donating to the Syria appeal or the Pittsburgh survivors.

Make It Personal

Although it’s not always possible, making a gift extra personal to the business or individual you intend to receive your gift is an excellent way to make a gratefully received gesture and put you at the forefront of their mind in the new year. If you are gifting solely to a director or manager, consider their personal interests, maybe they enjoy golf or are a lover of gourmet foods. If there is a small team, consider their collective interests, do they like meeting together outside the office or hold team bonding exercises in the office, gift them something that can contribute towards this. An office activity, for example, table quizzes, video games or on the larger scale, a pool table or air hockey table (where room allows), out of the office could include a 3-course meal to an upscale restaurant or an excursion to a local attraction like a theme park or zoo.

Say It with Food

It’s hard not to enjoy a tasty gift that can be enjoyed by a number of people. If your customer or client has a small or medium team, consider giving a gift basket, it can be handmade with personally selected delicious treats or pre-made with plenty of online and brick-and-mortar shops offering festive gift basket options. Gift baskets can be customised depending on the number of people you are buying for or you can multiple to satisfy larger teams or teams spread across a few different locations.

There’re still a few months to go until Christmas so while it’s certainly not the time to panic, you want to ensure you have your festive client gifts planned or all bought and ready to go before we get too far into the season. While giving gifts is a great way to be remembered, you also don’t want your gifts to be a hollow gesture so spend some time finding out what your favourite customers enjoy and treat them to something useful or gratefully received this holiday season.

Online Cash Advances and You: What You Should Know

Everyone blows their budget at some time or another in their lives and needs a little bit of cash to tide them over to the next payday rolls around, or the car goes on the fritz and your emergency fund doesn’t have the money you need to cover the expense. Luckily, in today’s modern world, one that is full of the internet and technology, it is possible to get the quick cash you need online. While this is an easy way to get the money, you need to tide you over or pay that auto repair bill, you need to responsible and careful with the loans you get. With that in mind read on below for a little about online cash advances and what you should know before you apply for one.

What Are They?

Before you use a cash advance online, it’s a good idea to know what it is. A cash advance, called by a few different names is getting a loan online that you can pay back in instalments or in some cases on your next payday.

Are They Easy to Get?

In most cases, online cash advances are pretty easy to get. You will need your social security number, a checking account, a form of identification, and proof of income before you apply. Filling out the application is easy, and, in many cases, the money will be deposited in your account the same day or at least within 24 hours. While these loans may be super simple to get, you need to be responsible with the cash advance you are applying for.

Don’t Borrow More than You Need

While it may be tempting to borrow the maximum amount you qualify for, you need to remember, you have to pay this loan back. You will be set up on a payment plan where the payment will be pulled out of your checking account on a set day of each month, automatically. Ask yourself, is this something you can afford? Can you pay back the money each and every month without fail? This is why it’s best to only borrow what you need. You will have less to pay back when you do.

Always Make Payments on Time

Remember, even though your payment is set up to come out on a certain day of the month, things happen. If you draw the money out or don’t have it in your account, then you are going to incur late fees, interest, and possibly a hefty fee from your bank, when they have to decline payment. Make sure that you are keeping the amount for your payment in the bank, so you don’t run into this problem.

These are just a few of the things you need to know about cash advances online and how to use them responsibly. They are a good thing to get when you need emergency money, but if you don’t act responsibly with them, they can get you into trouble.

Image: QuinceMedia